U.P. Yoddha and Bengal Warriors played out a thrilling 30-30 tie at Shaheed Vijay Singh Pathik Sports Complex in Greater Noida on Sunday. Representing U.P. Yoddha at the post-match press conference were captain Rishank Devadiga and assistant coach Arjun Singh whereas answering questions for Bengal Warriors were captain Surjeet Singh and coach Jagdish Kumble.
Q: It looked like you could have won this match at one point. Where do you think it went wrong?
Rishank Devadiga: Our aim was to win this match. The team was confident of winning the match as well. Their left side was weak, but we couldn’t take advantage of that to score points when needed. Thankfully I could score points today, so we didn’t have to rely on mistakes from the opposition. We came back well, and we should have converted the tie into a win. These things happen, we have to concentrate on the game tomorrow and aim to win that. We have to make good use of our home leg.
Q: What do you think was the turning point of the game?
Rishank Devadiga: Surjeet Singh coming in to raid on the last raid and Jang Kun Lee stepping out of bounds turned the game around. Bengal Warriors came back well and looked ready to get the win, but we turned it around because of those two raids and earned a tie.
Q: What do you have to say about Nitesh Kumar’s performance?
Arjun Singh: Not just Nitesh, the whole defence performed exceptionally well. We missed a few tackle points but overall, they were excellent. For quite a while we played with seven players on the mat while Bengal Warriors had only five. This took the bonus out of the equation for us but our defence ensured we didn’t concede too many bonus points either.
Q: You looked like you were about to win the match. Where do you think it turned?
Jagdish Kumble: Jang Kun Lee stepping out of bounds in the Do-or-Die raid and Surjeet being unable to get a point off the last raid definitely made a difference. Surjeet thought he got the toe touch and hence he came back in a hurry. He should have stayed for a while longer.
Q: You had faith in yourself and went for the last raid despite being a defender. What were you thinking?
Surjeet Singh: My plan was to catch U.P. Yoddha’s defence off guard. Being the last raid, they would have thought a raider would have come in to raid and planned accordingly but I wanted to take a risk and try something different. Unfortunately, it didn’t pay off but had I been successful, we would have won the game and taken away five points instead of three.